Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Communication Sciences & Disorders

Committee Chair

Jani Johnson

Committee Member

Gavin Bidelman

Committee Member

Miriam van Mersbergen

Committee Member

George Relyea


It has been hypothesized that patient factors such as self-efficacy and personality impact aspects of hearing aid (HA) success. Thus, researchers have recommended that clinicians incorporate these factors while planning individualized audiologic rehabilitation. However, the different contributions of these factors have not been evaluated in tandem. Additionally, most of these factors are evaluated using generalized measures. It is unclear whether general measures reflect nuanced psychosocial impacts of listening in difficult environments. This dissertation evaluated the relative impacts of patient factors on aspects of HA success using a series of quantitative and qualitative studies.First, we evaluated the associations between hearing aid self-efficacy (HASE) and other measurable patient characteristics in nave and experienced HA users. Aspects of HASE were significantly associated with HA experience, with those having more experience also having higher confidence in handling HAs. Other measurable constructs, such as personality and cognition were distinct from HASE. In a follow-up qualitative study, we attempted to uncover the key ingredients of success in experienced HA users with high HASE. Our participants reported that self-reliance to make health care decisions, high intrapersonal motivation, openness and agreeableness towards accepting and using HAs, and a positive relationship with their audiologists were key to their success. Finally, we used mediation and moderation analyses to understand the interacting relationships between reported patient factors measured in general and in listening-specific situations in predicting readiness to pursue audiologic intervention. We found that participants reported having significantly different affective states in listening-specific situations compared to their affective states assessed in General. Individuals with greater perceived hearing handicap, high HASE, and high agreeableness showed increased readiness to pursue an intervention. However, HASE and agreeableness again were independent predictors and, along with affective states or mood, did not impact the relationship between perceived hearing handicap and readiness. Together, these results suggest that self-efficacy and personality impact aspects of HA success through mechanisms that are independent from each other; however, these specific mechanisms remain to be discovered. It is likely that patient factors impact success differently at different stages of an individuals hearing health journey. Future research should explore these relationships.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest